Thinking about making a raised bed for this season? Well, we’ve got the perfect recipe. A bucket of this, a bag of that, and voila, you have the perfect base to grow the most beautiful veggies. Getting the right recipe for the soil in your raised bed is as delicious as making the perfect stock for your chicken and veggie soup!

Depending on the size of your raised bed(s) and how many you will be serving, determine whether or not you will be buying your soil and compost ingredients mostly in bulk or in bags. Luckily, Van Wilgen’s offers both. It’s a one-stop shop for your recipe list!

(Ideal for large raised beds or multiple raised beds)
•40% Topsoil in bulk
•40% Compost in bulk
Mix together as best you can. Do not leave in solid, unmixed layers. That leaves us with 20% more of that bed to fill. Here come the secret spices…

Fill remaining 20% of bed with equal portions of:
•Van Wilgen’s Organic Potting Soil (a perfect balance of nutrients and drainage)
•Garden Manure by Fafard (rich aged cow manure veggies love)
•Soilution by Sweet Peet (everything but the kitchen sink…Bio Char, Earthworm castings, Kelp, etc)

Mix all bags into the top 5 inches of bulk topsoil and compost blend.

(Serves 1 raised bed or small raised beds)
•40% Van Wilgens Topsoil (perfect base with great drainage)
•40% Van Wilgens Premium Planting Mix (nice blend of topsoil and compost)

Fill remaining 20% of bed with equal portions of:
•Van Wilgens Organic Potting Mix
•Garden Manure by Fafard
•Soilution by Sweet Peet

Sprinkle beds with Garden-Tone by Espoma (organic) or Van Wilgen’s All Purpose Slow Release (conventional).

Now that you have the perfectly blended base for your raised beds, time to add in veggies like tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, and squash.

Water and enjoy!

Note: For precise calculations, use the calculator on our website.

Remember, approximately 27 bags of soil = 1 yard of bulk soil!

When people think of lilacs, the first thing that comes to mind is the wonderfully fragrant flowers. Follow these three requirements to ensure your lilacs are the rock stars of your spring garden:

Drainage / Soil

Lilacs are found growing naturally on hills and edges of mountain woodlands, so they prefer fertile, well-drained soil with a neutral (pH of 7) to alkaline soil. When in doubt, add garden lime. Flowers are produced from new shoots each year, so poor soil will lead to poor growth and in turn affect flower production. If your lilac is established in good soil, new growth will be at least 6″ long and about as thick as a pencil; this type of shoot will give you plump flower buds next spring. It is best to enrich the soil with good organic material instead of traditional fertilizers.

Sun Exposure

Lilacs require full sun, which means at least 6 hours or more of direct sunlight each day. Lilacs are known to be selfish and don’t like to compete with other tree roots that could be growing nearby, so give your plant plenty of space. If you’re not sure how much sun your location gets, we can help with that!

Thoughtful Pruning

Lilac pruning can be the most intimidating requirement for beginners, but it’s easier than you think! Remove any diseased or declining canes, suckers, and small branches each year; small growth and suckers are signs of poor growth. Prune out 1/4 to 1/3 of the oldest branches each year and be sure to leave a strong main stem. Deadhead immediately after flowering (before the fourth of July).

Troubleshooting tip: If new growth is longer than 18″ and thinner than a pencil, your lilac is most likely either planted in acidic soil, isn’t getting enough sun, or needs to be pruned.

By following these steps, we’re confident you’ll enjoy your lilacs for years to come!